Is Bryan Danielson All Elite?We don’t know all the details at this time, but we do know one thing is for certain. The artist formerly known as Daniel Bryan is unlikely to return to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) anytime soon. This came from a report from PWInsider. WWE removed Bryan from their active roster page, moving him to the alumni section. Also confirmed is that Bryan is not included as part of the company’s licensing and merchandising deals for 2021-22. All signs are pointing toward Bryan (real name: Bryan Danielson) being done with WWE. This is despite remaining one of the company’s top stars during his decade-long tenure. These developments suggest Bryan is heading elsewhere, but where? A recent interview on Busted Open Radio with Tony Khan suggests that there are a number of big surprises planned in the upcoming months. With All Out taking place over Labor Day weekend in Chicago, could this be the day? Is this deal already in place with All Elite Wrestling (AEW)? Cassidy Haynes at Bodyslam appears to think so. A report by Haynes stated that Bryan has already signed a deal with AEW. In alleged negotiations with the company, Danielson wanted to work fewer dates for comparable money. A negotiable point was the ability to work in Japan and have creative control. Haynes reported in a later update regarding plans for his debut on AEW television. The current plan, although yet to be confirmed, is to set the debut in New York City at Arthur Ashe Stadium. That show is on September 22. The reasoning for this alleged decision was because of ongoing plans for All Out. However, another potential rumor regarding a fellow WWE alum changed those plans.
Thunder Rosa IS All EliteAt least on this rundown, at least one piece of AEW news is true. AEW announced Thursday afternoon that Thunder Rosa is officially signed with the company. She was working a per-date deal while her contract with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) was ongoing. This would allow a relationship between the two promotions in the past year. The former NWA World Women’s Champion held the title for 271 days before losing it to Serena Deeb last October. She could quickly rise to number one contender status in a short time. The announcement also happened to be Rosa’s birthday. It is likely the deal allows her to continue the operation of her own wrestling promotion Mission Pro Wrestling.
CM Punk to AEW too? Or ROH?Information is emerging regarding reports of CM Punk talking to AEW to return to the ring since stepping away in 2014. Dave Meltzer stated in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Radio that Punk and AEW had been in contact, but noted that AEW President Tony Khan has been in talks with “everyone”. Meltzer had previously reported that AEW was hoping to sign a major star last month. Wrestling Inc. reveals that Ring of Honor (ROH) has also reached out to Punk last year. Punk (real name: Phillip Brooks) met with ROH officials in January 2020 about working with the company. Marty Scurll was among those leading the charge. This was in reference to a report from Fightful Select. However, the talks did not go very far. Internal talks reveal how a story, a set group of opponents, and general plans were more important that the money being offered. With ROH out of the equation, will Punk become All Elite?
“Trouble In Paradise” for WWE?Another major sell-off of WWE stock took place Thursday, which calls to concerns from investors. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon sold 17,465 shares to collect just over $850,000 on the sale. Executive producer Kevin Dunn sold off 14,404 shares to collect $701,186 on the sale. Executive vice president of global talent strategy Triple H (real name: Paul Levesque) sold 4,547 shares for a return of $221,347. His wife, Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, sold 4,410 shares to collect $214,678. Bradley Blum, executive vice president of operations, sold 3,558 shares for a $173,203 return. Selling the least number of shares are president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan and chief financial officer Kristian Salen. Salen sold 1,233 shares to net just over $60,000. Meanwhile, Khan sold 1,098 shares to collect $53,450. All shares were sold at $48.68. The stock is significantly down from its peak at $96.73, which was on Sept. 28, 2018. It was nearly as close in April 2019 at $96.71. WWE’s Board of Directors announced Thursday its regular quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share for Class A and B shares of common stock. Thursday was the ex-dividend deadline, with a date of record for September 15 and payment on September 27. This dividend announcement was via a press release on BusinessWire.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.